Ranji Trophy: Yadav ton puts Mumbai on top

Suryakumar Yadav’s uncanny hundred, followed by rookie Vijay Gohil’s impressive work with the ball, ensured Mumbai had the upper hand over Railways halfway into the Ranji Trophy Group A match on Sunday.

Suryakumar Yadav curbed his natural instinct and scored 110 against Railways.   -  Vivek Bendre

Suryakumar Yadav’s uncanny hundred, followed by rookie Vijay Gohil’s impressive work with the ball, ensured Mumbai had the upper hand over Railways halfway into the Ranji Trophy Group A match on Sunday.

At the end of the second day’s play at the Gangotri Glades Cricket Stadium, Railways was 76 for three in its first innings. On a wicket that’s starting to behave to the bowlers’ delight, it would be a monumental task for the Railways lower middle order to get closer to Mumbai’s total of 345 and ensure that its captain Karn Sharma’s fifth five-wicket haul doesn’t end up as a valiant effort.

An out-of-sorts Railways middle and lower-middle order will have to overcome Gohil’s accurate spin bowling. Overnight batsmen Nitin Bhille and Arindam Ghosh will have plenty of cues to take from the way Yadav applied himself on the wicket.

>Scorecard

Yadav’s natural instinct is to play aggressively and try and manufacture shots. However, if he was — perhaps overtly — conscious during his unbeaten 60 on the opening day, even on the second morning, he continued to be equally patient. With an odd ball keeping low, he preferred to continue to leave anything that was pitched slightly outside off.

The only difference in his approach was he looked for more singles than on Day One. It resulted in him entering 90s without any fuss, even after losing his overnight partner Abhishek Nayar. Then on, he caressed Karan Thakur through covers for a four and then in the right-arm pacer’s next over, flicked him through midwicket and nudged a single to celebrate his 11th first-class, and season’s first, hundred. With Sharma accounting for Balwinder Singh Sandhu, Yadav played away from his body soon after lunch, which resulted in him playing Amit Mishra on to his off-stump.

The only blemish from Yadav came late in the day’s play, when he put down an edge off Ashish Singh’s willow to deprive Gohil of a wicket. But with the wicket turning slowly and odd ball keeping low, Yadav will have plenty of opportunities to make up for it come Monday.